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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, December 11, 2020

Southern U.S. appealing for many who are relocating




The National Association of Realtors just released some interesting numbers. Nationally, the average number of pending home sales (homes in the process of being sold) fell slightly in October. However, one area of the country saw increased sales: The South.

Pending home sales increased 0.1% in the Southern to an index of 151.1 in October. While only a tiny increase from September, that number increased 210% from October 2019 and the highest increase across the nation.

Compared to other parts of the country, the South saw the greatest year-to-date increase compared to other regions. The West remained the same in October, at 116.8, which is up 20.8% from a year ago. The Northeast slid 5.9% to 112.3 in October, a 18.5% increase. And the Midwest fell 0.7% to 119.6, up 19.6%.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says both the inventory of homes for sale and mortgage rates are at historic lows, which means fewer properties are available. While this is causing prices to increase, the low mortgage rates are helping homeownership stay within reach for many in our country.

Also interesting: More people moved to the South in October than any other part of the country.

One of the factors I believe contributed to the influx of people to our area is the ability to work from home.

One of the changes COVID has brought about is a surge in working remotely. If you have an occupation that allows you to work from home, then you have an opportunity to live and work wherever you might like. Once individuals are untethered from a physical workplace, they can start to look at other options for where they wish to reside.

The lower cost of living is another factor in the increase in people moving to the South. Though there are some minor discrepancies, most seem to agree that Tennessee and Georgia are among the states with the lowest cost of living in the United States.

Cost of living is calculated by several factors, including housing, transportation, utilities, health care, insurance and other goods and services. If a person’s money goes a bit further in one location than it would another, then they can purchase property at a lower price than they could in an area where the cost of living is higher.

Simply put, you get more house for your money!

The lack of a state income tax in Tennessee is another big draw. For those of you who are retired, it means no tax on your Social Security benefits or withdrawals from your individual retirement account or 401(k) plan.

Property taxes in Tennessee are also below the national average, which means fewer taxes are paid on purchased property. As Realtors, we advocate for low property taxes so those who own a home aren’t overburdened for pursuing the American Dream of homeownership.

While we’re all a bit biased toward our home, a lot of people are moving to our area. If you’re looking to enter the housing market, either as a seller or buyer, working with a Realtor will help you through every step of the process. We work for our community and clients. That’s Who We R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,400 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.